Trump, Putin Issue Joint Statement on Syrian Conflict

The presidents of the U.S. and Russia have approved a joint statement on Syria, agreeing that “there is no military solution to the conflict.”President Trump and President Vladimir Putin approved the statement on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vietnam.

Russian officials said Putin and Trump had a conversation before the group photo ceremony for APEC leaders in Danang. The White House did not immediately respond to questions about the Kremlin announcement or the conversation the Kremlin said took place.

Trump, Putin Issue Joint Statement on Syrian Conflict

In the statement the two world leaders repeated the urgency of destroying the Islamic State and agreed “to maintain open military channels of communication between military professionals to help ensure the safety of both U.S. and Russian forces,” as well as to prevent dangerous incidents involving the forces of allies fighting the Islamic State.

Trump and Putin confirmed their commitment to Syria’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and also called on the parties involved in the Syrian conflict to use the Geneva process to find a resolution.

The statement was released by the Russian ministry of foreign affairs, which said the document had been drafted by experts from Russia and the United States and coordinated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Television pictures from Danang showed Putin and Trump chatting  apparently amicably  as they walked to the position where the traditional APEC summit photo was being taken at a viewpoint looking over the South China Sea.

Earlier pictures from the meeting show Trump walking up to Putin as he sits at the summit table and patting him on the back. The two lean in to speak to each other and clasp each other briefly as they exchange a few words.

Although the White House had said no official meeting was planned, the two also shook hands at a dinner Friday evening.

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